Upbeat Panda determined to stay ready

Upbeat Panda determined to stay ready

CLEVELAND -- Every time Pablo Sandoval has been in a Major League uniform on Opening Day, he has been in the starting lineup. That streak will come to an end on Tuesday against the Indians, when the third baseman settles into the reality of starting the season as a reserve.

Despite the less than ideal circumstance, Sandoval continues to display enthusiasm on a daily basis.

"A thousand percent," Sandoval said. "I have to be positive and do all the work that I'm going to be doing. It's different, but you have to stick with it, because it's going to help the team be better. So I'm happy."

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Sandoval had started seven straight Major League openers. His goal this year is to stay ready and play himself into more time in the lineup.

"Yeah, I want to show it no matter what," Sandoval said. "I just want to focus on keep working hard, keep working hard, and get an opportunity when the team needs me. I just want to be ready."

The switch-hitting veteran is trying to get a feel for how his routine will change.

"I come early every day and do my work," Sandoval said. "It's more mentally right now. Come early, do my work, get ready for every situation of the game. I'm just going to be ready."

Manager John Farrell will do his best to keep Sandoval involved, but he isn't sure when the third baseman will get his first start in the regular season.

"For Pablo in particular, this is going to be a different beginning to a season," said Farrell. "The role has certainly changed. How he and I and the rest of our staff communicates with him, puts together a work plan to keep him prepared and keep him moving forward, that's probably the biggest change for all of us. To say it's Friday and Sunday this week, that's a little ahead of schedule right now."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.